Review - S.H.O.O.T. First #1

"I'm always disappointed these bloody things don't sound like Robin Williams."

When faced with a jinn, water is usually a good option. If you don't have water, fighting with special weapons and laser beams might be an acceptable substitute. S.H.O.O.T. First #1 from Dark Horse Comics is a book that blends rather heady religious thinking with weaponry, leading to a rather combustible mix.

The issue is written by Justin Aclin, illustrated by Nicolas Daniel Selma, colored by Marlac and lettered by Amanda Aguilar Selma.

Secular Humanist Occult Obliteration Taskforce (S.H.O.O.T.) is not an off-shoot of S.H.I.E.L.D. the organization. Rather, it's a group who do battles with entities such as jinn in all their infinite glory and often fiery splendor. When called to a bombing at a mosque, the team finds out that it's actually the former and that the jinn are attempting to capture and exploit the faithful to channel their beliefs into energy. Cue the infidel, a man who just renounced God and joins up with the crew in their fun.

Most of the first issue is a lot of fighting and witty combat banter. Aclin takes that time to really throw the reader into the fire so to speak and give them a full look at what they're capable of and what they're up against. The latter half of the issue spends time with the organization itself, giving the reader more insight into their adventures. There's a lot to take in here though and you have to do some thinking when it comes to the religious aspect of things. There's definitely a lot of philosophical insights infused by Aclin and the first issue almost isn't enough space to get into all that. It's expected that Aclin will likely delve deeper into this territory in future issues.

Selma's art is pretty simplistic and almost too clean. There's really not much in the way of complexity or detail when it comes to the characters and settings. The smooth textures make the action really easy to follow and the characters are accented by strong, bold lines. As far as scenery goes, Selma relies instead on the characters to carry the action and fill the panels rather than populate them with background settings. The art has a very polished finish to it that detracts slightly from the gravity of the story itself.

S.H.O.O.T. First #1 could eventually pose some rather interesting questions when it comes to religion and dealing with it. Every religion has some form of monster that fills pages of lore and there's always going to be an equal and opposite hero of sorts there to keep them in check. Grouping them into an organization is interesting and should make for at least some fun stories to read about. If the jinn makes a debut in the first issue, there's no telling what will show up down the road in future issues.

S.H.O.O.T. First #1 is in stores now with interiors below.